Category Archives: Health and Fitness Tips

Traveling Members Should Plan Ahead

If you have clients or members who often travel and stay in hotels, encourage them to research the fitness facilities that are offered in the area’s hotels. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal found a wide range of equipment, services and prices among top hotels in various cities around the U.S. One trend among hotels is to offer a one-day pass to hotel guests to an area health club. The upside to this approach is that such clubs usually have more equipment and services than the typical hotel health club. The downside is that these clubs also tend to be more crowded, usually charge a fee for hotel guests to use their facilities and are sometimes a few blocks away from the hotel. Another trend is to have an outside management company manage a hotel fitness center. The upside to this approach is that these clubs are inside the hotel and usually don’t charge an extra fee for use. The downside is that they are not usually very large, and don’t have a wide variety of equipment and services. And, if the hotel club is more like a typical health club in size and amenities, it usually offers Continue reading

How to Get a Six Pack

‘You can never be too strong around the middle.’ This old saying has held up over the years and still rings true.

Our abdominal muscles, if strong, protect our lower backs, improve our posture by holding us more erect and provide support for our internal organs. Serious athletes often want those “washboard abs,” “a six pack” or “a rock hard gut.” This is an awesome goal for a few, but for the average person having abdominals strong enough to hold your gut in is all you need.

Begin by improving your mid-body strength by targeting this weak spot by doing a variety of exercises. The best exercises for the abdominals will focus on all of your lower middle muscles including: the lower back muscles (erector spinae), the lower side spinal muscles and the both the middle abdominals and the obliques.

The safest, simplest and best abdominal exercises are also the easiest: crunches, bent-knee sit-ups, trunk twists, back raises and side bends. While doing these exercises start with a small amount of reps and do as many sets as you can. Gradually add more sit-ups to each set. For example, do 25 crunches, rest, then do 25 more crunches and then do 25 more. Work your way up to 50 crunches in each set. Do at least three sets. Following are some additional tips you should keep in mind while doing abdominal work to make it safer and more effective. Do your abdominal exercises three times a week. Continue reading

Tae-Bo: The Ideal Full-Body Exercise

Even if you enjoy a particular workout, there are several reasons not to do the same workout the same way every day to ensure that regular exercise remains a permanent part of your lifestyle.

First of all, any exercise that uses muscles is more effective as far as building lean muscle if done every other day, to give the muscles the necessary 48-hour recovery period to rebuild. Second of all, doing any one exercise daily could lead to psychological burnout or boredom where you are not looking forward to the workout and just going through the motions. Thirdly, it may actually cause a physical plateau or stall effects as your body adjusts to the exercise and is not challenged by it anymore.

Lastly, it may even cause an injury by putting too much strain on tired muscles, ligaments or joints, especially if the mind is zoning out and not focusing on form. It is, therefore, more effective as well as more fun, to vary the daily exercise or cross train to make and keep regular exercise a permanent part of your lifestyle. My main exercise of choice is Tae-Bo, which is in itself an overall body workout, both aerobic (cardiovascular) and anaerobic (muscle building). Continue reading

Dive travel: Destination Micronesia

Although scuba diving provides a great form of exercise and an activity to do while on vacation, for many, it is the core reason for planning a vacation apart from the fitness aspects of it. This tranquil, relaxing and popular sport opens up an entirely new world of travel opportunities to exotic destinations all over the world that might otherwise be overlooked.

In planning a vacation around scuba diving, divers get to know other cultures, countries, peoples and geographies that encompass such pristine destinations as the beautiful and teeming Micronesian islands. Divers travel from all over the world to experience firsthand the vibrant colors of the underwater marine and plant life, the playful dolphins, schools of non-stinging jellyfish and majestic manta rays. Imagine crystal clear water, deep-wreck scuba diving, an abundance of sea life and coral, and year-round water temperatures of 78 to 80 degrees. If you’re a scuba diver, you might already know about the glorious diving of Micronesia.

The Micronesian islands are comprised of 2,000 tiny tropical islands scattered over more than three million square miles of the Pacific Ocean, which are situated north of the equator in the Western Pacific. The distance from one end of Micronesia to the other is 2,040 nautical miles. The islands of Micronesia are the result of volcanic activity that took place millions of years ago, some of which are the tips of huge underwater mountains, and some — the atolls, are the rims of sunken volcano craters, which peak above the blue-green water surrounding, and thus forming serene lagoons. There are eight distinct and unique island groups, each with its own culture, language, history and stunning tropical attractions. These island groups represent Guam, the Republic of Palau, the Marianas, Ponhpei, Yap, Chuuk, the Marshalls and Kosrae. The climate in Micronesia is tropical all year round with very little variation between seasons. The average temperatures year-round range from 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit with 70 percent humidity, depending on the island. Continue reading